Banana- Health Benefits , tips, and Facts

 Banana-Health Benefits , tips, and Facts: Bananas fight hypertension (high blood pressure), low energy, depression, PMS, anaemia, constipation, hangovers, heartburn, morning sickness, and Alzheimers. They must be among the best of health foods.

Banana: Health Benefits , tips, and Facts


Note: No two bananas are the same and no two people are the same, so this page is only about most people and most bananas.

Bananas are delicious and easy to peel sources of humour.

I don't know what slapstick comedians would do without bananas. But bananas are the source of other things that are good for you apart from laughter so here is some health information.

Bananas make a good source of Magnesium, Folacin, Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin B6. There are typically 4 grams of fibre in a banana.


Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure goes up when you are cold so researchers at Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, wondered if they could use bananas to prevent the rise in pressure.


The effect of banana on cold stress induced hypertension in healthy human volunteers was tested. Systolic blood pressure (P > 0.005), diastolic blood pressure (P > 0.025) and mean arterial blood pressure (P > 0.005) were significantly decreased during cold stress after banana treatment compared to controls subjected to cold stress. Banana decreased the rise of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in healthy volunteers subjected to cold stress test without much effect on heart rate and peak expiratory flow rate.


If you haven't come accross the P rating before, it is a statistician's thing. Multiply the P number by a hundred to get the percentage chance of getting these results by accident. So P>0.005 means that there is less than half a percent chance of these results being an accident. P>0.01 is considered to be desirable for physics and chemistry research. But living things break all the rules, so anything lower than 5% chance of error is considered good in nutrition research.


It is believed that the potassium in bananas is what lowers your blood pressure . It is so effective that if you are taking drugs to lower your blood pressure you should tell your doctor that you mean to eat bananas or other good sources of potassium such as raisins, prunes, or tomato skins. Sodium and potassium should be in balance. If you have too much sodium salt your blood pressure can go up (too little can have the same effect) and potassium tends to lower your blood pressure .


This tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure . So much so that the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. It must be good if the FDA allows it because it is reluctant to encourage any competitors of the drug companies.


Energy

Bananas contain three natural sugars- sucrose, fructose and glucose- combined with fiber; a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proved that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.


Depression

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND of people with depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that your body changes to serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.


PMS

Forget the pills- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.



Anaemia

Bananas are high in iron and they can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood, helping fight anaemia



Brain Power

200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brainpower. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.


I'm not entirely convinced that the bananas were responsible. If students were eating bananas they weren't eating junk food packed with additives. Some schools in Australia have found that cutting out food with additives has an enormous effect on the brains of students.



Constipation

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. They taste a lot better too!



Hangovers

Hangovers are good for you because they discourage you from getting more hangovers. However if you must cure a hangover, one of the quickest ways is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up disastrously low blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and rehydrates your system. If you are allergic to milk, use coconut oil for the creaminess and add a raw egg. If you are allergic to honey, use a handful of dried dates (without stones) as a sweetener.




Heartburn

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body; so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. Slippery elm powder is even better but is quite revolting to drink, but I can feel it soothing me already before I've finished drinking it.




Morning Sickness

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness. Of course you should also use ginger against morning sickness or air sickness.




Alzheimers

Experts are cautious but there are some interesting research results. They guess that folate protects against Alzheimer's by reducing blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid. "There are also links between vascular disease and Alzheimer's disease," said Maria M. Corrada, an assistant adjunct professor of neurology at the University of California, Irvine. "So maybe there is some mechanism so that lowering homocysteine may be beneficial."

Folates are B-vitamin nutrients found in bananas and other fruit and vegetables. Most people get too little and deficiency can cause birth abnormalities too.



Ripening

Bananas are unusual because they don't ripen on the tree. You can speed up ripening with heat or placing in a bag with apples to gas them, thus speeding the ripening. They aren't really ripe when they are yellow. They should have black spots on them known as "sugar spots" when they are really ripe. If you want to make fruit leather, let them ripen till the insides are brown and squishy, blend them, spread them a quarter of an inch thick, and dry to a delicious sheet of leather. A fan-controlled oven set at half-way to boiling point (say 120 F or 50C) will dry them nicely if you don't have a fruit dryer.


Recipes

A banana split is an ice cream-based dessert. In its classic form it is served in a long dish called a "boat". A banana is cut in two lengthwise (hence the split) and laid in the dish. A typical banana split is made with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream served in a row on the split banana. Pineapple topping is spooned over the vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup over the chocolate, and strawberry topping over the chocolate. It is garnished with crushed nuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries.


Banana Smoothie - blend the following

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 c. yogurt
  • 1 c. crushed ice
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice


You have an imagination. Use it! Add strawberries, or Kiwi Fruit or passion fruit or ...


Peel

We all know how valuable the peel is to comedians, but it is great for curing plantar warts. Tape a piece of yellow peel (mushy side in) against the warts, and replace the peel each day. The warts should be smaller in a few weeks and disappear in a few months. OK it's a lot of trouble and a nutrition solution or drug would be more convenient, but it works where other methods fail.



Analysis facts

100 gm raw bananas contain

  • 75% water (which is quite low)

  • 23% carbohydrate (quite high)

  • 27 mg magnesium

  • 22 mg phosphorus

  • 358 mg potassium (that's why bananas are recommended for potassium)

  • 20 micrograms folate

  • 64 IU vitamin A

  • 26 micrograms beta carotene

  • 25 micrograms alpha carotene

  • 22 micrograms lutein zeaxanthin

Shops are holding us to ransom now in Australia because of storms damaging the banana plantations so I refuse to buy them. Instead I use dried bananas. The analysis for 100 gm contain

  • 3% water

  • 3.9% protein

  • 88% carbohydrate

  • 9.9% fibre

  • 22 mg calcium

  • 108 mg magnesium

  • 74 mg phosphorus

  • 1491 mg potassium (phew... that's a lot)

  • 14 micrograms folate (I don't know why it went down)

  • 248 IU vitamin A

  • 101 micrograms beta carotene

  • 96 micrograms alpha carotene

  • 84 micrograms lutein zeaxanthin

If you can get powdered dried bananas they would be ideal to blend into milk for a delicious milk shake.